Recently, I’ve been actively writing and plotting my novel, simultaneously.
That probably makes no sense. I’ve sort of started the writing process in media res.
See, my current novel started out as a NaNoWriMo novel. I was off to a really great start, but then I got a really bad case of bronchitis and didn’t feel like doing anything but sleeping for like, a month. So that died.
But here I am, with a good chunk of the beginning of a draft, no plotting, no prewriting, and only a vague idea of what was going to happen next. I’ve never been much for the writing process. Even as a university English major, most of my papers are written with absolutely no outlining and turned in as first drafts. (For the record, I realize that this is a terrible way to write a paper, and I realize that this is probably why my grades aren’t as good as they could be, but I do okay for myself.)
When I decided to seriously pursue this novel, I knew that I had to change something about my process, because I’ve tried to written a lot of novels, so I have a lot of computer files with 15,000 words written and nothing else. I decided to create a really detailed outline, which I’m still working on. (Currently outlining chapter 20.) But you know, I’m not that good at following one thing at a time, so when I get bored of outlining, I go back and work on actually writing the current draft.
I also decided to set myself deadlines, because I don’t want to be working on the first draft for the next ten years. I want to be done with the draft until summer, partly because it seems like a good time to take a break, but also because I have a tendency to go live at a summer camp until August, and I know that I won’t write there. So far, I should be finished with chapter 19, for example, by March 27th. I’d like to be done by May, just because I think it would be cool to say that I wrote my book over the course of my senior year in college.
Anyway. I feel like I have a way more solid grasp of where my novel is going and what I need to do to get there. Of course, this is just in reference to my first draft. I’m kind of terrified of the editing/rewriting process, because let’s be honest. I don’t ever edit my own writing. I just turn in my first draft and wipe my hands of the matter. I’m not even going to edit this here blog post.